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Author Topic: Team Brain Damage  (Read 23894 times)

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2015, 08:10:29 am »
In the past I used just a simple plate of 1/8" aluminum and it has held up for a few competitions. The hammer bots are starting to get a little more serious though and my big worry is that the arduino board and batteries are right up against the top plate at the back of the bot. I don't expect them to puncture the 1/8" aluminum to much depth, but can't tolerate more than about another 1/8" and I want to protect the electronics from shock too, not just a direct strike.

I could go to ~.25" lexan for the whole top plate (with weight for nothing else) except I don't have a good way to mount it to this frame in a shock-resistant manner, and it is ultra non-resistant to saw bots. I guess I could switch top plates based on opponents to deal with the latter point.  We'll see how this goes, it could be unnecessary or it could but insufficient.

Everywhere you see a bolt sticking through there is a .375" wide UHMW bar there too. I have a support at the back of the drive motors too to help hold that part up but nothing where the electronics are.

-Zac

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2015, 09:16:11 pm »
Tonight I finished the other side top plate and made a spare lexan cover for each side so I can replace them as they get beat up. I also finished out the weapon lock to make it not scrape my knuckles every time I try to remove it.



Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2015#6115517982459085234

-Zac

BranYoung

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2015, 12:18:32 pm »
Do you have any good videos of either magneato or threecoil firing? I feel like it will be interesting to see how the mechanism works during the act of firing.

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2015, 12:30:53 pm »
Kyle took some high speed video of it happening in Threecoil at Bot Blast a couple years ago. This wasn't the automatic-reset version but it is the best video I have of it actually firing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBjUYk48ED4

It happens so fast that it is difficult to capture on video, at least with the equipment I have. I'm bringing a big halogen light that we can use on Magneato to capture the flip action with Kyle's fancy high speed camera at Moto this year. I'm pretty curious to see how it works for real too.  The low-light capture we did at Franklin shows me something I didn't know was happening - the weapon actually fires twice every time I pull the trigger because the latch servos don't get the latch back in place in time.  You can see the white cap on top of the clutch jumps up and down twice even in the low light video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv2s_weYEgM

-Zac

BranYoung

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2015, 06:43:51 pm »
A question about the latch servos: In your photos of Threecoil I noticed that the lever that holds the clutch down is released by a servo that appears to be attached to it by a single pivot point. When you fire, the servo pulls that lever away which allows the spring to engage the clutch and let it fire, yes? My question is that if the servo pulls that lever away for it to fire and is connected, wouldn't that mean you would have to manually move the servo back into place to re-capture the clutch?

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2015, 08:04:16 pm »
I do have to move the servo back into place to re-capture. That's what's too slow to actually work on Magneato before it auto-fires a second time.  I couldn't come up with a better approach yet that was still reliable.

-Zac

BranYoung

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2015, 10:11:25 pm »
It seems more like recapturing the clutch depends a great deal on the reaction time of the driver. I would have suggested the use of a solenoid-controlled magnet much like how you designed that one robot of yours awhile back using that technique to mirror walking. In that scenario, you would have one magnet connected to the clutch itself that is a permanent magnet and an opposing magnet on the baseplate directly beneath it. When you turn on the solenoid-controlled baseplate magnet, it simply attracts the clutch down and holds it there.

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2015, 08:12:55 am »
This is just how the last version of Jack Reacher worked. Unfortunately the abuse the magnet took from repeatedly getting the clutch hammered down into it caused parts of it to start coming off so I switched to the mechanical latch to improve reliability. The magnet was faster, but occasionally failed to recapture the arm and provided an additional point of failure.

In the door latch system there is no reaction time of the driver either - the on board microcontroller moves the servos in a specific pattern to ensure both release and recapture of the clutch. I flip a switch and it fires and resets. In the latest version I don't even have to flip a switch - running into the other bot should flip it for me, at least that's the plan. There is still the time it takes the servo to traverse that causes it to fire more than once. I could get faster servos but they need to be strong enough to be able to reset the clutch if it fails to reset automatically, which could happen if the tongue is under the wall or something gets bent. The torque and speed requirements would mean I need much bigger servos to do both, though I may do that some time.

Unfortunately, I already changed the name of the bot to Magneato before I had the crazy idea of the door latch mechanism instead of the magnets. I like the name so I kept it. 

-Zac

BranYoung

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2015, 08:51:55 am »
How did you program the microcontroller? Where there any certain parameters like a 1/10th second release and recapture time?

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2015, 06:43:53 pm »
The microcontroller is an Arduino Nano. I used the Arduino IDE and 734 lines of code to control everything. The robot uses 8 IO pins on the arduino to read the throttle, flip, and ArmAI input as well as read a bump sensor on the front of the bot and control both capture servos, the throttle out, and the LED strip. I coordinate turning off the throttle, moving the trigger servos, and ramping the throttle back up to speed as well as safe startup, servo reset if it fails to mechanically reset, and a diagnostics/demo mode so I can use it in the pits without actually updating the throttle.

Right now I move the servos for 200ms before telling them to return to the start position when I trigger the clutch. It happens after shutting the throttle down for 500ms to ensure it is off and I don't blow my belt or fry my motor/controller/battery trying to drive the flipper with the motor instead of the flywheel. This 500ms could probably be shorter.

The throttle ramp-up time after flip is a 4 second period of linear throttle, to stop from killing the weapon motor/pulley setup. I also have some settings for how long the bump sensor should be ignored while I'm spinning up so that multiple box rushes can't result in many low-speed flips automatically.  The bump sensor is something I'm really only trying out for the first time here. I never had any time to dial it in on the old version (I only spend 4 hours on it for Franklin)

-Zac

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2015, 05:58:04 pm »
I got back from Motorama today around Noon.  I had a great time and got to hang out with many old friends as well as meet some new ones. I don't think I've ever been so tired at an event before. I can officially say that running 3 robots alone is silly and I hope none of you can talk me into doing it again. Here's a quick rundown from my very foggy memory of what happened.  The order and days could be wrong as it is all a blur to me. I will anxiously await Mike and Julie's video to see how bad my memory is.

I got there Friday and took 5 trips to haul all my crap in.  The arena got delayed by weather so I had lots of time to hang out and talk to people before it arrived. The big and small arenas were together and we set the small arena up in what felt like about 20 minutes. That box is so much easier to deal with. I'm starting to see why people prefer to host insect competitions :)

I spent most of the rest of the day with a few other people setting up the main arena. Dylan's dad was a huge help that we didn't have last year so the big box went together pretty quickly too. I wasn't fighting any of the little bots on Friday so I got to really enjoy myself. I spent a lot of time talking to some of the ant builders, especially Revelation Robotics. They have progressed leaps and bounds from where they started and are already more organized than I was at my first few competitions, despite being very young.

I got through safety with the big bots once the subfloor was in and we did the multibot the next morning.

Saturday:
Saturday was a little busier. I think my first fight was with Chop Block against Placebo. I don't think it happened until like 2 or 3 because there were SO MANY BEETLES. Chris and I went in together on Chop Block for my first foray into a multibot. It was silly and I couldn't drive while spinning hardly at all, but it was fun. We drew Placebo in the first round. Placebo was an undercutter with like 30 degree wedges front and back.  We found out in this fight that even if Chris could get under a 12 pound bot, there was so much weight on the wedge that the wheels couldn't get enough traction to actually lift or push them. That combined with the slope on the wedges meant I couldn't get any bite at all. Placebo was having troubles keeping his friction wheel working so the blade didn't get us too bad, but I sure cracked Block in the face pretty hard when I had a bad spurt of driving. He did a triple or quadruple backflip and ended up with a good notch in the wedge plate. Placebo had some troubles with ground clearance too though so we ended up getting the judges' decision.

Next up was probably Triggo and Miss Fortune, the big eggbeater. I matched up ok with Miss Fortune because it had square corners on the front, but Kyle added some anti-horizontal UHMW flaps to deflect me away enough to get the drum involved. As soon as he put the bot down he was having driving issues though. The front of the bot has so much weight in it that the skids he added were digging into the wood floor a lot. This ended up giving me the advantage on the first hit and he tapped out when it was clear that he was stuck facing the wall with the back corner out.

I think the next fight was probably  Chop Block vs Hyper Drive. Hyper drive is Apollyon converted to ridiculous brushless drive motors. Unfortunately the drive motors were a bit much for the gearboxes so Jerome was blowing gearboxes the whole competition. It sure was fast when it was working though!  In our fight he spent a lot of the time being a pseudo-melty because of the blown wheel, but I thought he was intentionally doing it to ensure that my bad driving couldn't possibly result in a hit on the exposed wheels. It worked, I never really hit him for anything noticeable. I did crack Block a couple more times though, including a shot that pried the baseplate out to high center him. Hyper Drive won by judges' decision.

Next up was probably Triggo vs The Magnificent Poncho. Triggo was in good shape going into this match, and I had knocked Poncho out last year when I faced it with Tetanus, although I think it was the fight that caused the shell to warp beyond repair when I got one of his wheels and crashed into the wall. This year I decided to spin a bit slower to avoid bending the shell (since it was the third fight for it) against a wedge bot that couldn't hurt me unless I hurt myself.  Poncho drove very well and was able to ensure often that when I hit him I was the one that hit the wall instead of him. Triggo doesn't drive as well as Tetanus did and he took full advantage of that. We traded blows for the whole 3 minutes, including some very serious shots against the wall that were the reason I decided to back off on the throttle a little bit too much I think. This was the first time my shell spinner had a match go the distance since I put the big hammers on Tetanus but poncho is seriously tough. I was able to hurt the ablative armor on the front (A big hunk of angle iron) but never really stopped him. The judges decided in favor of Poncho and it was time for me to hang out in the loser's bracket. I thought everything was working after the fight but I'm pretty sure this is where my one drive motor started to get crunchy.

I think my last fight of the day was with Magneato, against Power of Metal. Too bad that PoM won against the auger bot because I wanted to face an underweight opponent again... This was the first combat test of the big gargoyle wings on Magneato as well as the bump sensor and improved software and arm geometry. I was pretty pumped about it.  PoM was able to stay on me the whole fight though, so much so that the 4 second 'disarmed' delay I put into the bump sensor so I could spin up wasn't enough, and I was only dealing partial-power flips to him. I decided to disable the bump sensor so I could spin up better, but ended up missing my flips a couple of times and landing upside down. That's when I found out my new anti-hammer guards that I added actually inhibited my ability to self-right. That's what I get for last minute, un-tested "features".  Ah well, between PoM being all over me and troubles self righting it was a clear judges' decision for PoM.

Sunday to come later

-Zac

Koolaid64

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2015, 07:38:54 pm »
here is the flip we did. The darn camera was out of focus, the auto focus is crap. Im going to start doing it manually from now on. it's a shame your clutch jammed or we could have done more.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOjsh7Pr2nI&list=UU0hZHhIZg8fbLGii1vZ29IA

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2015, 08:03:48 pm »
I really is a shame, the part I'm most interested in is the servo trigger lag and clutch reset stuff, because that happens too fast to see.  I should have taken the stupid hammer guards off too, they block what's happening to the clutch as the bot resets and rotates back.  I wish I had more time to spend on getting it right.  Maybe we can do it again at bot blast in the mall parking lot if the weather is nice.  Surely there is an empty enough area for a test flip.

Thanks for sticking around and doing it so late. I can still see that the target stayed on the flipper tongue through almost the whole stroke, which is a surprise to me. That means the gearing is probably in the ballpark of what I wanted. The flip angle isn't too bad either.  All in all it was a reasonably successful test.

-Zac

Koolaid64

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2015, 08:13:17 pm »
bot blast is it. although there is talk somewhere on the internets of rage in the cage. may 2-3 ish. I will have to hit someone who knows whats going on up about it.
-Kyle

zacodonnell

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Re: Team Brain Damage
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2015, 08:19:36 pm »
First, a little more Saturday:
In the fight against Power of Metal Magneato bent the weapon arm. It's made of two pairs of stacked 1/8" 6061 rails and I lamed-out and used some pretty thin threaded hex standoffs from mcmaster to bind them together. At some point toward the end of the fight PoM must have been crooked on the arm when I tried to flip and when combined with loose shaft collars on the rear hinge pin the pressure on the plates caused the rear standoff to tear and the arm bent between the two hinge pins. This is what made it not come back down very well during the fight, and was the final end to any hope I had of winning it.

At first all I did was try to bend the arm back and install an extra standoff to resist bending again so we could use Kyle's fancy camera to capture some 300fps footage of the flipping mechanism. I didn't bring anything that weighed 30 pounds that I wanted to flip so we asked around and Alex offered up his AR400 wedge bot that weighed 15 pounds instead.  That thing is dense.  We got the flip, and it was awesome, but one of the clutch strike plates was damaged in the PoM fight and in our test it failed completely and jammed the weapon, so we didn't really get to watch the resetting mechanism work like I wanted.  The arm also bent a little bit in the test, which didn't surprise me because once the rails weren't straight they were likely to fail even faster.

Kyle cleaned up the lighting rig we set up and I went about fixing the strike plate and replacing the clutch. I did a little bit more maintenance on the bot but eventually I was just too tired and I headed out about 11:00. The roads were horrible and I didn't get to the hotel until about 11:30, where I tried to get dinner at Sheetz (one of only a few places still open that late) and Rob was there and told me it was a long wait for food. I grabbed a couple of pre-made sandwiches and went to my hotel to eat and sleep.

Ok, I know you may be wondering "why does he keep saying 'I think...'  Wasn't he there?".  I was there, and it is pretty hazy because I was so busy sunday that I ate two granola bars from Mike for lunch because I didn't have time to do anything else. Here's the recap of the busiest Sunday I've ever had, with a fair bit of guessing on the order and content of the fights:


The next morning I hit the venue by 8 with a list of things I wanted to do before the matches started. The list included double checking that the batteries I had in the bots were really charged since I was so fried by the end of the night. I also wanted to remove the anti-hammer armor because it made it hard to self right and I wanted to use the weight for it to brace up the arm a little bit. I had some AL channel with me so I cut a couple of strips of it out with the jigsaw and bolted them to the arm to make it more rigid. I think it helped a lot.

I can't remember when the fights started, but I had mostly just finished fixing up the sportsman and getting it all reassembled. I had forgotten to tape the battery in Triggo and missed a couple of fasteners in the sportsman in my haze the night before so it was good I double checked everything. I think my first fight of the day was Chop Block vs Sonic the Hedgehog (shell spinner).

I was pretty worried about the fight because I knew I had no armor and very little ability to actually drive my robot. Block wasn't much better off since every time he turned around I hit him with my weapon, but we hoped he could deflect sonic up enough that I could hit him. Dalton had a bit of a scramble to get the bot working on time but we eventually got there.  He spun up and he cracked us a couple of times. I managed to get a couple of dings in although it was tough to bite his angled shell.  After some hits and pushing I think sonic stopped working and we won by KO. I don't know what happened, but it wasn't really Chop that did the KO'ing.

Next up was Triggo vs Cathii, the ring spinner. I didn't know if Cathii was spinning, but I did know the teeth on the ring looked very solid, and very solidly mounted to the ring.  I wasn't sure what to expect in this fight but hoped that I could benefit from how hard it is to solidly support a ring on a ring spinner.  I'm pretty sure the match ended in a KO of Cathii but I can't remember how long it was. I do remember some pretty serious hits. Toward the end of the match my bot wasn't really driving very well.

I took the bot back to the pits and found that one of the drive sides was totally seized. I had shattered the magnets in the motor, despite it being packed in foam. The gearbox is rigidly mounted to the base of course and the shock loading from the hits must have traveled through it into the drive motor.  I had a spare fully assembled motor and gearbox that I dropped in and the bot was back in shape. Sometimes even a win isn't a total win. I think the damage might have started in the Poncho fight, as there were a LOT of big hits there.

My next fight was probably Magneato vs Sparky, alex's ratbot-turned-sportsman driven by Josh M. The weapon controller wouldn't run it though so it was a weaponless underweight bot from spare parts and booger welds. I was hopeful that I might be able to win. Alas, it seems that was not to be. My bot just takes too long to spin up and there is too much lag in the flipping system.  Josh drove very well and deftly triggered my flips without actually getting hit by many of them. I spent a lot of the match upside down and the self righting didn't work as well as I hoped. It did work a couple of times, but at the end of the fight the rope got stuck in the clutch and I couldn't trigger the flipper anymore. I'll have to work on the rope alignment more for the next version. One of the things on my list that day was to replace the rope because it was getting stretched out, but I didn't do it. Too bad for me, Magneato was 0-2 after a loss by KO.

Next up was probably Triggo vs the ginormous bar spinner that came with Team Canada. I don't think it is registered on the BDB and I can't remember the name.  It was a giant midcutting bar spinner with bubble-shaped rear end / wheel guards and a huge weapon pulley attached to the bar.  While I was replacing the drive motor in Triggo the guy who made the bar spinner was kind enough to come over and remind me that he spun clockwise in case it made a difference to me. Indeed it did, and I switched my shell to go counter clockwise so the bar wouldn't be spinning into the shell teeth. Only very, very bad things could come of a head-to-head hit like that. 

I got my bot back together and we went into the arena. The match started and he got that bar up to speed scary fast. I don't know what the tip speed on it is but I'll be it's more than 150 mph.  There were some pretty big hits, including one that punched a pretty good dent in my shell, but then the steel teeth broke off of the bar spinner's blade and it became unbalanced. After that I think either the belt fell off the pulley or snapped. I managed to stay spinning and tried to attack something other than the weapon but couldn't get enough bite on the rounded bubbly back end of him. I eventually just started plowing into the weapon assembly (that was no longer powered) hoping to kill him that way.  I did not succeed, and the match went 3 minutes. The judges gave it to me so I was moving on.

The replaced drive motor was sounding a little crunchy again but I didn't have a spare or time to do anything about it. I started asking around for a motor and pinion to try to swap in, but I had so many fights so frequently that I couldn't really do it all at once. Charles lent me a gear puller, I got a motor from the canadians that I couldn't get the pinion off of, and I couldn't get the pinion off of the broken motor.... More on that saga later because then I was up with Chop Block vs Ripto Ultimate.

Chris and I figured this was the end of the line for us. I couldn't get any bite on Ripto's front end and his blade is terrifying. If I could hurt block with my little one then it was going to be very bad when Ripto got in there.  The match went about how we expected, with us fumbling around a little bit trying to do something and eventually getting annihilated by Ripto's blade.  Block was knocked out (I think?) so we lost, but Chop took a huge hit in the face that pulled the front frame through the base plate. I wasn't dead, but it wasn't going to get much better, and our primary was out anyway so we lost by KO.

Shortly thereafter I was in with Triggo facing Gloomy, the bot with the spinner-resistant tire armor and terrifying saw blade of death. He had repaired the damage from Hyper Active and I was nervous.  I knew that if I ever stopped spinning I was in very big trouble.  The match started and I throttled up, not even trying to drive until the shell was moving. I figured he would keep the saw out of it as long as I could keep spinning. I did my best to stay off of his little tongue and drive past the bear-hug arms but he got me into the wall a couple of good times.  I got a couple of lucky blows in to the corner of the bot and that took out one of the four wheels. He was having trouble controlling the bot after that and I was able to do enough damage to the back end that I think he tapped out.  It might have been a KO though, I can't remember.

It was very exciting, but I noticed my bot was handling like crap again at the end of the match. The shell was working fine, but that same drive side was crunchy again. When I got back to the pit I renewed my search for a replacement drive motor and got a pinion from Jamo so now all I needed was a motor that I could get the pinion off of that was close to the same KV as the one I was using. Jamo had some 555 motors but they are like 50% of the kv of the one I had in there. Eventually Chris mentioned he had a 550 motor on a HF gear box and brought it over, but I didn't have time to put it in before I was up again with Triggo, this time vs Chris's bot Whammo.

Whammo was using the RageBridge I won at Moto a couple years back as a replacement for his drive ESC after Gloomy sliced his RS80D in half. He just got it together and dialed in in time for the match.  I had done some testing and my bot could drive, but it pulled hard to one side.  I knew that was going to be bad news against a bot with a big ti wedge and a good driver, so I figured I needed to knock him out to win. I spun the shell all the way up and just kept it there the whole fight.  Whammo kept me right on the middle of the plow and pushed me around pretty much the whole time.  I couldn't drive well enough with the bum motor to get around his corners and I figured I was done.  Somehow the judges gave me the win though, after taking a long time to decide.  I'll have to go watch the video to see if I missed something, but I sure felt defeated at the end. This match took more out of my batteries than any ever had in Tetanus or Triggo. I used more than 2050 mah out of my 2300 pack. Everything was toasty, but nothing smoking hot. I think the weapon motor was 138F and the battery was similar.

Anyway, the saga with the drive motor continues, and now that I had one that I could use, and a pinion from Jamo, all I had to do was get the old one out and swap the new one in before my next fight... which was against the Magnificent Poncho, who put me in the loser's bracket in the first place.  Sean M helped me get the bot apart, the old motor out, and the new motor installed in record time. We had to go 50-50 on the polarity of the leads because we didn't have time to test it or anything. I was scrambling so much to get it installed in the first place that I put the gearbox together wrong, with the back panel 90 degrees rotated from the front panel. That meant I only had the front mounting screws to hold it to the base but that would have to be enough.  We got it together and it happened to be the right polarity, saving us an extra 8 minutes to take the wiring back apart and switch it.  I got everything tied down and just got the top on in time to go back to the box against the Magnificent Poncho. Couldn't have done it without all the help I got.

I threw the bot in the box and the match started. I went full throttle this time again because the shell was still flat and round despite the abuse I took in the whammo fight. Now if only I could avoid bashing another drive motor...  I figured I had to knock him out since the last time I thought I had it won but lost by the judges. I wasn't going to tempt fate after the whammo thing. Fortunately Poncho had been taking damage too and he had a bit of a laggy drive side from some crunchy magnets. I got around the plow this time and I think I won by KO.

Back to the pit finally with a bot that is actually working. I swapped the batteries out (and looked at the numbers from the whammo fight battery charge... damn) and got the bot back together. At this point I started working "ahead" by taking apart another one of Chris's drill motors and prepping leads for it in case I broke one in my next fight.... Speaking of which, it happened 20 minutes later!

I can't remember if there was a fight before the final with Megatron, so we're going to go with that.  Jamison is a better driver than me and I fully expected to get stuck in the dust pan and delivered to the wall the whole fight. At least I had a working drive system.  The match started and I did it the same way I did it with gloomy - get spinning and don't worry about driving yet. If i'm not spinning, the saw is an issue, and he's fast enough that I may never spin.

He gunned the throttle and was so torquey that it popped the nose of the dust pan up and he ramped over the shell and landed upside down.  I hit him maybe once, but when he realized the clutch was too loose on the saw arm to allow him to self right, he tapped so we'd get a second final.

I went back to the pit, swapped batteries, and buttoned the bot back up. 20 minutes later we tossed them in for a second final. Good thing I swapped batteries, Jamo was a lot more careful this time.  Jamo being careful is not good for Jamo's opponent.  He was able to scoop me pretty easily and even though I had a working drive system I wasn't fast enough to evade his advances very often. He had really reinforced corners so they took a beating well. I did bounce out of his dust pan a few times and got a hit or two in on the lip of the wedge.  That made it so it was a bit bent on that side, and after that sometimes he would ramp over the shell instead of scooping me.  I got a couple more hits in but couldn't seem to get a really good grip or get around the back.  About two and a half minutes in I was in the corner right by his tap out button and he came across the arena and his bot was at a 45 degree angle to the two walls, blocking me in the corner. I couldn't drive over the dust pan to get out so I tried crashing into the wall to jump out and over him. It didn't work either because I couldn't get up enough speed to get bite on the wall in the 2 inches I had. I should have slowed the shell down.

Miraculously in my attempts to get out I somehow knocked his power link out the top of the bot. It just stayed there, hemming me in but unable to move. They counted him out and I got first place.  It was totally nuts and I look forward to seeing the video.

At this point it was about 7:30 PM. There were still fights going on in other classes but I was too tired to watch them.  I had some food and water and just tried to sit for a while.  A few people stopped by and bought some of the motorama for sale stuff and I just tried to recover. Eventually I packed my stuff up and then helped with arena teardown.

Whoever was still left went out to dinner at Fridays because it was the only place still open at 11:00 that would seat a party of 20 or so.  We had a great time and I got back to the hotel about 12:30 I think.  It was awesome to sit down and talk with everybody.

Everybody who made this event happen is awesome. Special thanks go to Ed, Beth, Dude, Rob, and Jim for doing the organizational parts of all of it. Especially rob for driving that heavy arena down from boston in a blizzard.   Also, I couldn't have kept the bot going without help from Charles, Jamo, the canadians, Chris, and the hands-on help from Sean when I was under a time crunch.  It's been a while since I was that swamped and I forgot how challenging it is.

I look forward to the video Mike and Julie took and are uploading for us all for free. That's a boatload of work that many don't realize just how good a job they're doing for nothing. I'm sure I forgot people but everybody who does this is awesome. We should do it again... but not until I recover, ok?

-Zac